Top Rank Promotion head Bob Arum was not surprised by the result of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) review of the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn on July 2 in Brisbane, Australia.
The WBO affirmed the verdict of the three judges that Horn won the fight.
“The five judges scored the fight in a television, and they came out with the result of the fight. It was a very close fight,” Arum told The Manila Times.
“What I’m saying is the fight was very close and I have Manny winning the fight. Some people said Pacquiao won, while the other people said Horn won the fight, very close,” he added.
Pacquiao also was not surprised.
“Let the people judge for themselves. People saw what happened. We have seen worse judgments in the past where judges manipulated results. Nothing surprises me now,” he said in a statement.
After the independent review of the WBO, three of the five judges ruled that the 29-year- old Horn won the fight (115-113, 114-113 and 114-113), one favored Pacquiao (114-113) while the other scored it a draw (114-114).
The judges who reviewed the fight said Horn won seven of the 12 rounds while the 38-year old Filipino ring icon got only five rounds.
Games and Amusements Board Chairman Abraham Mitra, who sought the review, thanked the WBO for responding to their request but he blamed referee Mark Nelson for poorly handling the fight.
“We are grateful that WBO acted promptly on our request. But no matter what review they do, it will be hard to change the result as the referee didn’t call it close,” Mitra told The Times through a text message.
“The judges’ scores would have greatly changed if the referee did his job properly. He (Nelson) didn’t give Senator Manny the respect and the fair protection that is due to a people’s champ,” he added.
WBO said Pacquiao won five rounds – third, eighth, ninth rounds 100 percent, the fifth round by 80 percent and the 11th round by 60 percent.
Horn, on the other hand, won the first, sixth and 12th rounds by 100 percent, second, fourth and seventh rounds by 80 percent and 10th round by 60 percent.
Judge Waleska Roldan had it 117-111 while Chris Flores and Ramon Cerdan scored it 115-113, all in favor for Horn for a unanimous decision.